Retail in Asia


China’s jewellery industry up 7.6 percent in the first quarter of 2022

China’s jewellery industry has witnessed a 7.6 percent year-on-year increase to CNY 82.8 billion (USD 12.3 billion) in the first quarter of 2022, recovering from a slump in March of 17.9 percent to CNY 20.5 billion (USD 3.07 billion), according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

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The market turbulence is mainly due to China’s zero-COVID policies that have led to local lockdowns amidst the latest wave of Omicron outbreaks, affecting cities including Shenzhen and Shanghai which are also the main offline battlefields for jewellery consumption.

Dao Insights reported that the industry is starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel as authorities have begun easing COVID restrictions in affected cities since mid-April. Sales are expected to be boosted by some major events happening in May including China’s Mother’s Day, which is celebrated on the second Sunday of May, and the unofficial Chinese Valentine’s Day on 20 May, which is mostly observed by China’s young people. 

In terms of consumption by categories, inlay fashion jewellery overall appears to be preferred over plain gold ones with sales of wedding accessories outperforming those recorded over the Lunar New Year season. 

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In the meantime, driven by the surging gold price, domestic appetite for relevant products is also growing, with high demand for the yellow metal incorporating traditional casting craft as China’s guochao trend continues to appeal to Chinese consumers.